Food Art

Cherry Tomatoes, Nori and Soy Sauce

Chopped Carrots, White Radish and Dried Prunes

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Pacific Mackerel Oshi Sushi

The Sushi (ばってら)

The Fish – Pacific Mackerel (マサバ)

Brisk Walking Can Have Benefits Post-stroke

One of the simplest exercises – going for a brisk walk – can improve physical fitness and quality of life for people who have had a stroke, a study suggests.

What do we know already?

The effects of a stroke can be long-lasting. Some people have permanent disabilities and need ongoing care. Others have less severe problems but continue to have low energy and muscle weakness, and may have difficulty doing everyday tasks. This may make them withdraw from regular activities, such as visiting friends or shopping, which can lower their quality of life.

Studies show that exercise programmes after a stroke can increase stamina and muscle strength, and also improve people’s ability to do daily tasks. However, not much research has explored how exercise might affect people’s quality of life after a stroke. And even fewer studies have looked at walking as a form of exercise therapy, with most studies focusing on more structured exercise programmes using treadmills or stationary bikes.

To fill this gap, researchers in Jamaica recruited 128 men and women who’d had a stroke six months to two years prior to the study. All participants were able to walk, either with or without a cane, and their average age was 64.

The researchers randomly divided them into two groups. In one, participants were instructed to walk briskly in their home or local area for 15 minutes, three times a week, gradually extending their walking time to 30 minutes over 12 weeks. In the second group, participants were given 25 minutes of light massage on their limbs, three times a week, for 12 weeks.

The participants filled in questionnaires to rate their quality of life, and researchers used tests to assess their fitness, such as seeing how far they could walk in six minutes. The researchers used these results to compare the two groups, to see what effect walking might have.

What does the new study say?

After 12 weeks, people in the walking group had greater improvements in their quality of life and fitness, compared with those in the massage group.

In particular, the walking group rated their quality of life in relation to their physical health as higher than those in the massage group. Their overall quality of life was also higher, but the difference between the groups was small enough that it could have been down to chance.

By the end of the study, people in the walking group were able to walk 53 metres further in six minutes, on average, than those in the massage group.

There was no difference between the groups in how able people were to do daily tasks (such as getting dressed), or in how they rated their quality of life in relation to their mental health. Neither group reported any serious side effects.

How reliable is the research?

This is a randomised controlled trial, which is the best type of study for finding out the effects of a treatment. However, the study was smaller than the researchers had planned, which may make its findings less certain. We need more studies to confirm these results, and to explore how brisk walking compares with other types of exercise after a stroke.

What does this mean for me?

Walking requires no special equipment or training, which makes it an appealing exercise for many people. If you’ve had a stroke and would like to try brisk walking for exercise, it’s a good idea to speak to your GP first. Your doctor can give you advice about how to get started and exercise safely. In the study, people in the walking group were initially supervised by instructors during their walks. They then had friends or family members accompany them until they were comfortable walking alone.

Source: BestHealth

Chinese Rice Noodle Stir-fry


1 lb fresh rice noodle
5 oz shelled shrimp
3 stalks green onion, cut in sections


1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp sesame oil
dash ground white pepper


1 tsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil


1½ tsp cornstarch
6 tbsp water


  1. Loosen rice noodle. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok. Stir-fry noodle with 1/4 tsp salt and 2 tbsp water. Toss until noodles are cooked and liquid is absorbed. Remove to serving plate.
  2. Rinse shrimp and wipe dry with paper towel. Add marinade and set aside for 10 minutes. Blanch shrimp in hot oil. Remove and drain.
  3. Beat egg with seasoning. Mix in shrimp and green onion.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok. Add thickening and bring to a boil. Mix in egg mixture and toss until cooked. Remove and place on top of noodle. Serve hot.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

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